YouTube Videos on Gout Often Diverge From Evidence-Based Guidelines

By Cailin Conner - September 8, 2023

With the goal of assessing the quality of YouTube videos providing dietary recommendations for patients with gout, a study in Public Health Nutrition found that the videos frequently failed to conform to evidence-based guidelines.

Investigators employed a content analysis approach. In total, 131 videos providing dietary recommendations were assessed. These videos were categorized by their source, ranging from health care professionals to naturopaths. To gauge the alignment of the videos with evidence-based guidelines, the dietary recommendations were compared against 3 established guidelines for gout. Compliance scores were assigned to each video based on this comparison. The study also assessed the presence of advice that deviated from these guidelines.

To evaluate the quality of the videos, the researchers employed various assessment tools. Understandability and actionability were measured using the Patient Education Material Assessment Tool for Audio-Visual Materials. Reliability was evaluated with an adapted version of the DISCERN tool, while educational quality was assessed using the Global Quality Score Five-Point Scale.

The investigators found the alignment of the videos with evidence-based guidelines was notably low, with a median compliance score of 27%. A significant proportion of videos (57%) contained advice that diverged from the guidelines.

Categorizing videos by source revealed that the group of videos sourced from health care professionals displayed the fewest instances of nonguideline-based advice. However, even in this group, there were deviations, and the instances were significantly lower only in comparison with the naturopath group (31% vs 81%).

Quality assessment metrics revealed that the overall quality of the videos was suboptimal. Almost 70% of the videos were deemed to have poor actionability, and half were considered poorly understandable. Reliability was also an issue, with 79% of videos being rated poorly in this aspect. Almost half (49%) of the videos were deemed to have poor to generally poor educational quality.

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